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Raleigh Interviews

Vivienne Benesch of PlayMakers Repertory Company Interview Vivienne Benesch of PlayMakers Repertory Company
by Jeffrey Kare - August 23, 2020, Raleigh

I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Vivienne Benesch, who is the Producing Artistic Director of PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. At PlayMakers, she has helmed productions of Life of Galileo, Leaving Eden, The May Queen, Three Sisters, Love Alone, RED, and In...
Elizabeth Doran & Eric Woodall of North Carolina Theatre Interview Elizabeth Doran & Eric Woodall of North Carolina Theatre
by Jeffrey Kare - July 27, 2020, Raleigh

On June 8th, North Carolina Theatre announced that based on recommendations from the City of Raleigh and given the circumstances surrounding the current health pandemic, they ended up canceling the remainder of their 2019-20 Season, which includes productions of Memphis, The Sound of Music, and Edge...
Heather J. Strickland of Raleigh Little Theatre Interview Heather J. Strickland of Raleigh Little Theatre
by Jeffrey Kare - June 16, 2020, Raleigh

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Brandon A. Wright of THE COLOR PURPLE National Tour Interview Brandon A. Wright of THE COLOR PURPLE National Tour
by Nicole Ackman - March 13, 2020, Raleigh

Brandon A. Wright plays Harpo in THE COLOR PURPLE, originally scheduled to come to DPAC from March 20 to 22. Wright is a graduate of Wayne State University and is originally from Newark, NJ....
Robert Hartwell of North Carolina Theatre's MEMPHIS Interview Robert Hartwell of North Carolina Theatre's MEMPHIS
by Jeffrey Kare - March 09, 2020, Raleigh

From March 24th-29th, North Carolina Theatre will be presenting a production of Joe DiPietro & David Bryan's 2010 Tony-winning musical, Memphis, at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Robert Hartwell, who will be directing and choreographing the production....
Steven Grant Douglas of the SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL National Tour Interview Steven Grant Douglas of the SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL National Tour
by Nicole Ackman - February 22, 2020, Raleigh

Steven Grant Douglas plays Bruce Sudano in the SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL, coming to DPAC February 25 through 29. SUMMER sheds light on the life of musical sensation Donna Summer using her classic hits that audiences know and love. Douglas has previously performed at DPAC with the national tou...
Nathan Peck of North Carolina Theatre's KINKY BOOTS Interview Nathan Peck of North Carolina Theatre's KINKY BOOTS
by Jeffrey Kare - January 27, 2020, Raleigh

From February 11th-16th, North Carolina Theatre will be presenting a production of Harvey Fierstein & Cyndi Lauper's 2013 Tony-winning musical, Kinky Boots, at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Nathan Peck, who will be directing and choreographing the pro...
Joshua Tavares of RENT on Tour Interview Joshua Tavares of RENT on Tour
by Nicole Ackman - January 24, 2020, Raleigh

Joshua Tavares plays Angel in the 20th Anniversary RENT National Tour, coming to DPAC January 28 to February 2. RENT is a story of love, tolerance, and hope that follows seven artists in New York City at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. The musical, with book and music by Jonathan Larson, has been...
James Earl Jones II of COME FROM AWAY National Tour Interview James Earl Jones II of COME FROM AWAY National Tour
by Jeffrey Kare - January 13, 2020, Raleigh

Coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center from January 14th-19th is the national tour of Come From Away. I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing actor James Earl Jones II, who is currently in the production playing Bob & others....
Ira David Wood III of Theatre in the Park's A CHRISTMAS CAROL Interview Ira David Wood III of Theatre in the Park's A CHRISTMAS CAROL
by Jeffrey Kare - December 06, 2019, Raleigh

From December 11th-22nd, Theatre in the Park will be presenting their 45th anniversary production of A Christmas Carol. I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing the show's playwright, Ira David Wood III, who is not only back directing this year, but he'll also be alternating the role of Ebe...
Alan Campbell of Judson Theatre Company's WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION Interview Alan Campbell of Judson Theatre Company's WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION
by Jeffrey Kare - November 18, 2019, Raleigh

From November 21st-24th, Judson Theatre Company will be presenting a production of Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution at the Bradshaw Performing Arts Center. I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing actor Alan Campbell, who will be starring in the role of Sir Wilford Robarts....
Addie Morales of North Carolina Theatre's WEST SIDE STORY Interview Addie Morales of North Carolina Theatre's WEST SIDE STORY
by Jeffrey Kare - October 10, 2019, Raleigh

I've recently had the great pleasure of interviewing actress Addie Morales, who is currently in rehearsals for North Carolina Theatre's upcoming production of West Side Story, where she'll be starring in the coveted role of Maria. Addie has previously played the role numerous times regionally at the...
Korie Lee Blossey of ALADDIN National Tour Interview Korie Lee Blossey of ALADDIN National Tour
by Jeffrey Kare - September 26, 2019, Raleigh

I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing actor Korie Lee Blossey, who at the time of our conversation was getting ready to start performances as the Genie in the national tour of Disney's Aladdin in Charlotte, North Carolina. He made his national tour debut as a standby for the role about t...
Erin Sullivan of Temple Theatre's WITH LOVE, MARILYN Interview Erin Sullivan of Temple Theatre's WITH LOVE, MARILYN
by Jeffrey Kare - August 27, 2019, Raleigh

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Lewis J. Stadlen of HELLO, DOLLY! National Tour Interview Lewis J. Stadlen of HELLO, DOLLY! National Tour
by Jeffrey Kare - May 20, 2019, Raleigh

Coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center from May 21st-26th is the national tour of Broadway's classic musical comedy, HELLO, DOLLY! starring the legendary Tony Award winner Betty Buckley. I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing actor Lewis J. Stadlen, who stars opposite Betty as the we...
BEAUTIFUL's Danielle Summons Reflects on Family, Carol King, and Coming Home Interview BEAUTIFUL's Danielle Summons Reflects on Family, Carol King, and Coming Home
by Lauren Van Hemert - May 05, 2019, Raleigh

When BEAUTIFUL opens at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) Tuesday, it will be a homecoming for Danielle Summons. That's because Summons, who plays one of The Shirrelles, as well as Janelle Woods in the show, is from Raleigh. And for Summons, returning to the DPAC stage, is a dream come true....
Eric Woodall of North Carolina Theatre Interview Eric Woodall of North Carolina Theatre
by Jeffrey Kare - April 25, 2019, Raleigh

Eric Woodall has a long history with North Carolina Theatre; as an actor, teacher, and director. As a high school student, he performed in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and GEORGE M! at NC Theatre. After successful years on stage and television, Eric returned to NC Theatre in the late 90's to direct and he...
Jason Robert Brown Reflects on His Music, Working with Lauren Kennedy, and More in Ad Interview Jason Robert Brown Reflects on His Music, Working with Lauren Kennedy, and More in Advance of Theatre Raleigh's Upcoming Concert
by Lauren Van Hemert - April 22, 2019, Raleigh

Jason Robert Brown has been hailed as one of Broadway's smartest and most sophisticated songwriters. In fact, The Chicago Tribune referred to his work as 'extraordinary, jubilant theater music.' But Brown, who wrote the book and score for THE LAST FIVE YEARS and the music and lyrics for the stage...
Jeffrey Kringer Talks CRUEL INTENTIONS in Advance of DPAC Show Interview Jeffrey Kringer Talks CRUEL INTENTIONS in Advance of DPAC Show
by Lauren Van Hemert - April 22, 2019, Raleigh

'It's just been the most exciting whirlwind of a ride to get to do this,' says Jeffrey Kringer. And it has been a whirlwind for Kringer who just graduated from Fredonia State University last May. Kringer is playing the role of anti-hero Sebastian Valmont in the musical CRUEL INTENTIONS. It's his ...
Joy Franz of ANASTASIA National Tour Interview Joy Franz of ANASTASIA National Tour
by Jeffrey Kare - April 08, 2019, Raleigh

Coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center from April 16th-21st is the national touring production of ANASTASIA. I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing actress Joy Franz, who is currently appearing in it as the Dowager Empress. A role that in the 1997 animated film was voiced by Angela L...
Izzy Figueroa Reflects on THE LIGHTNING THIEF, Being a Role Model, and More Interview Izzy Figueroa Reflects on THE LIGHTNING THIEF, Being a Role Model, and More
by Lauren Van Hemert - April 06, 2019, Raleigh

The Lightning Thief musical, based on Rick Riordan's book, has been called a cross between Harry Potter and Dear Evan Hansen, which may be one of the reasons why legions of fans are flocking to see the show as it makes away across the country. Initially developed as a one-hour musical in 2014 by ...
ROCK OF AGES' Katie LaMark was Born Ready to Rock Interview ROCK OF AGES' Katie LaMark was Born Ready to Rock
by Lauren Van Hemert - February 20, 2019, Raleigh

You could say that Katie LaMark has been ready to rock from the time she was a little girl. That's because she is a self-described 'studio kid' whose parents were both musicians. 'My mother is really the rocker of the two of them and my father is a much more disciplined, jazz piano player,' she s...
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY'S James Young Talks about Grandpa Joe and the Impor Interview CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY'S James Young Talks about Grandpa Joe and the Importance of Theater for Young People
by Lauren Van Hemert - February 07, 2019, Raleigh

James Young has been singing and dancing in Broadway shows for over 40 years. These days, he spends his time playing Grandpa Joe in the national tour of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. The show plays the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) next week. Hear what Young has to say about the producti...
Mary Mattison of North Carolina Theatre's MAMMA MIA! Interview Mary Mattison of North Carolina Theatre's MAMMA MIA!
by Jeffrey Kare - February 05, 2019, Raleigh

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MISS SAIGON'S Red Concepción Says this Grittier Version of the Show is Resonating wit Interview MISS SAIGON'S Red Concepción Says this Grittier Version of the Show is Resonating with American Audiences
by Lauren Van Hemert - January 18, 2019, Raleigh

Red Concepcion grew up listening to show tunes. In fact, he remembers listening to cast albums like MISS SAIGON from the age of five. Fast forward 20 plus years and Concepcion found himself playing the role of The Engineer on the UK tour. He says although he knew the music by heart, he had no ide...
North Carolina Theatre's New Producing Artistic Director Eric Woodall Talks Diversity Interview North Carolina Theatre's New Producing Artistic Director Eric Woodall Talks Diversity in Casting, North Carolina Roots, and MAMMA MIA!
by Lauren Van Hemert - January 11, 2019, Raleigh

After 16 years with Tara Rubin Casting, Eric Woodall has come home. Born and raised in Benson, North Carolina, Woodall is the new Producing Artistic Director of North Carolina Theatre. He is also overseeing the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory, a program which is near and dear to his heart. Hear ...
BWW TV: David Ferguson of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF National Tour Interview BWW TV: David Ferguson of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF National Tour
by Jeffrey Kare - January 06, 2019, Raleigh

Coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center from January 8th-13th is the current national touring production of Fiddler on the Roof. I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing dance captain (and North Carolina native) David Ferguson....
Estes Tarver Talks Movies, TV, and Moonlight Interview Estes Tarver Talks Movies, TV, and Moonlight
by Lauren Van Hemert - December 14, 2018, Raleigh

You may know him as Tom Tilden from the CBS Sci-FI Show 'Under the Dome' or the Duke Energy guy or even as Chad Thompson in his award-winning movie 'Changeover.' But Estes Tarver is more than an actor, writer, director, and producer. He's also the Artistic Director of Moonlight Stage Company in Nort...
Yolanda Rabun Opens Up About Upcoming Theatre Raleigh Christmas Concert, Paying Tribu Interview Yolanda Rabun Opens Up About Upcoming Theatre Raleigh Christmas Concert, Paying Tribute to Nina Simone, and Living Life on Purpose
by Lauren Van Hemert - November 30, 2018, Raleigh

Raleigh audiences last saw national recording artist Yolanda Rabun play Medda Larkin in the North Carolina Theatre production of NEWSIES last summer. In fact, she has been nominated for a Broadway World Raleigh Award for that performance. On December 12th, she returns to the Raleigh stage to perform...
Eric Williams' Inner ELF Can't Wait to Share Buddy's Tale of Optimism and Perseveranc Interview Eric Williams' Inner ELF Can't Wait to Share Buddy's Tale of Optimism and Perseverance with DPAC Audiences
by Lauren Van Hemert - November 28, 2018, Raleigh

Eric Williams grew up watching Christmas movies with his family in St. Louis. In fact, he says it was his family who instilled in him a passion and excitement for the holiday movie genre. And while he likes some of the more traditional classic films, the more recent ones that put a contemporary spin...
Raleigh Native Beth Leavel Opens Up About Finding Her Life Path, Channeling Her Evil Interview Raleigh Native Beth Leavel Opens Up About Finding Her Life Path, Channeling Her Evil Twin, and Building THE PROM
by Lauren Van Hemert - November 26, 2018, Raleigh

It was the kiss seen around the world when the cast of THE PROM took center stage at The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They performed their finale number, at the end of which the two actresses who play the lesbian couple at the center of the show kissed. It was a first for the parade and a moment ...
Producer Kris Lythgoe Brushes Up on His Southern Colloquialisms for ALADDIN AND HIS W Interview Producer Kris Lythgoe Brushes Up on His Southern Colloquialisms for ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH
by Lauren Van Hemert - November 17, 2018, Raleigh

Although the Lythgoe family is best known for producing reality television shows like 'So You Think You Can Dance' and 'American Idol,' live theater is in their blood. 'It's more part of my DNA,' says Kris Lythgoe. 'I really grew up surrounded by the tradition and frankly know nothing else.' L...
Theatre in the Park's Ira David Wood III Opens Up About Family, His Legacy, Christmas Interview Theatre in the Park's Ira David Wood III Opens Up About Family, His Legacy, Christmas, and Scrooge
by Lauren Van Hemert - November 16, 2018, Raleigh

BWW Interview: Theatre in the Park's Ira David Wood III Opens Up About Family, His Legacy, Christmas, and Scrooge...
Mike McGee And Lauren Knott of Raleigh Little Theatre's CINDERELLA Talk Holiday Tradi Interview Mike McGee And Lauren Knott of Raleigh Little Theatre's CINDERELLA Talk Holiday Tradition and the Importance of Family Productions
by Lauren Van Hemert - November 11, 2018, Raleigh

Later this month, the Raleigh Little Theatre production of CINDERELLA will take the stage for the 35th time. This time, Mike McGee directs and Lauren Knott returns to the title role. Hear what the pair had to say about the changes to this year's production, carrying on a beloved holiday tradition, a...
Jason Gotay Talks ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH, Panto Tradition, and Returning to the Interview Jason Gotay Talks ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH, Panto Tradition, and Returning to the North Carolina Theatre Stage
by Lauren Van Hemert - November 05, 2018, Raleigh

Look at him, he's the 'King of New York! ' North Carolina Theatre audiences may remember New York actor Jason Gotay as Jack Kelly in the North Carolina Theatre production of NEWSIES last summer. Last month, he opened in the off-Broadway world premiere of RENASCENCE at The Transport Theatre Gr...
Elon Alum Tanner Ray Wilson is 'Head Over Heels' to be Part of Groundbreaking Show Interview Elon Alum Tanner Ray Wilson is 'Head Over Heels' to be Part of Groundbreaking Show
by Lauren Van Hemert - November 03, 2018, Raleigh

For HEAD OVER HEELS' Tanner Ray Wilson, performing on a Broadway stage eight times a week is a far cry from his hometown of Jonesboro, Arkansas. 'My dad is a football coach and a basketball coach and a hunter, like outdoorsman extraordinaire,' he says. 'And he was cool enough for some reason to l...
THE CHOIR OF MAN'S Denis Grindel Raises a Glass to Ireland, Friendship, and Manhood Interview THE CHOIR OF MAN'S Denis Grindel Raises a Glass to Ireland, Friendship, and Manhood in Advance of DPAC Show
by Lauren Van Hemert - October 25, 2018, Raleigh

Denis Grindel says he's always been a performer.  After all, he's Irish. It's in his blood. 'I love telling stories,' says Grindel. 'It's a big part of my culture.' 'You grow up hearing stories and legends and song, it's a big part of what being Irish is,' he adds. 'So, it was a natural for me...
Fraser Walters Talks About Bringing THE TENORS' A-Game to Durham for Carolina Theatre Interview Fraser Walters Talks About Bringing THE TENORS' A-Game to Durham for Carolina Theatre Concert
by Lauren Van Hemert - October 23, 2018, Raleigh

Fresh off their fourth PBS special which aired in August, the multi-platinum group The Tenors kicked off their Fan Favorites Tour two weeks ago in Canada. This week, they bring their eclectic mix of classical and contemporary music to The Carolina Theatre in Durham.  'There are so many voices ext...
Penn Holderness Talks Viral Videos, New Musical in the Making, and Theatre Raleigh's Interview Penn Holderness Talks Viral Videos, New Musical in the Making, and Theatre Raleigh's ROCKY HORROR SHOW
by Lauren Van Hemert - October 20, 2018, Raleigh

After 18 years in the news business, Penn Holderness took a leap of faith and jumped into starting his own video production company. As a natural born storyteller, he wanted to tell stories that were not only interesting but relatable. So in 2013, he and his family posted their  'Xmas Jammies' video...
Genny Lis Padilla & David Guzman of North Carolina Theatre's IN THE HEIGHTS Interview Genny Lis Padilla & David Guzman of North Carolina Theatre's IN THE HEIGHTS
by Jeffrey Kare - October 12, 2018, Raleigh

From October 16th-21st, North Carolina Theatre will be opening their 2018-19 season with a production of Lin-Manuel Miranda & Quiara Alegria Hudes' 2008 award-winning musical, In the Heights, at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. I was recently able to get in touch with two of the cast members, Genny ...